Ballet Shoes (2007) - full transcript

Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil live with Sylvia Brown, their guardian. Money is tight and as the story opens, three boarders - a garage owner, a retired English professor, and a dance teacher - come to stay. Theo Dane, the dance teacher, has the girls accepted at her school by the formidable Madame, and the three go on the stage to help raise money. Each discovers her talents - Pauline as an actress, Petrova in fixing engines, and Posy as a dancer.

999, indeed. I never heard of
such a number for a house.


Forgive my boldness, sir, but
wooden leg or no wooden leg...

you are this child's
last surviving relative.

Her father named you as
guardian in his will.

I don't dispute that.

I merely point out that this house
is a shrine to palaeontology.

There is no corner in it for
a small girl, or her nurse.

We require two rooms,
that is all. Some

of these stones can
go to a museum.

My fossils? In a public museum?

This has got nothing
to do with fossils.

If you don't want the child, you
should say it straight out.

- She'd be miserable here.
- My parents are dead.

I'd be miserable anywhere.

Smilodon popularis.

Why don't you just stick
a knife in my heart?

They're all magnets for dust, and
that big cat was plain unpleasant.

It's a sabre-toothed tiger, Nana.

It's lovely.

Gum, a skeleton.


I keep a pack of women
in this house...

and there isn't one of
them about anywhere...

when they are wanted.

Oh, darling Gum.

- We weren't expecting you.
- Ship sank. Iceberg.

If you don't mind my asking, sir,
what have you got in the bag?

- Ah, a surprise.
- Let's hope it's not a fossil.

The world is full
of entrancements,

woman. Not all of
them made of stone.

- A baby?
- Found it.

Floating on a lifebelt.

Both parents drowned,
awful bloody shame.

A baby. Came in just like
that, what will people say?

Have you no regard for your
great-niece's reputation?

I'll put a notice in the Times.

"Professor Matthew Brown adopts
entirely unrelated child."

- But, Gum...
- I thought women liked babies.

They like babies that are in
good order. Babies with names.

Well, I thought perhaps Pauline.

And surnames.


It's not as though we've got
an empty room to put her in.

You don't mind, do you?

Gum, I came here
with nothing, once.

That's the spirit.

Where are you actually going?

Siberia. I'll bring
you back a souvenir.

No, not another one?

Red Cross hospital,
outside Vladivostok.

Mother died when it was born.

What about the father?

Salt mines, worked to
death. Awful bloody end.

They called her Petrova.
Needs feeding up a bit.

It's to be hoped this
one has brains...

for it's easy to see who's going
to be Miss Plain in my nursery.

"Dearest Niece,
another small fossil

from your great-uncle Matthew.

Daughter of a dancer,
mother has no

money and no time
for her offspring.

She sends a pair of
ballet shoes, enclosed."

He says, "I regret not
delivering the child myself...

but I ran into a friend about
to leave for the Galapagos.

There's enough money in the
bank to last you for 5 years.

P.S. Child's name Posy.
Unfortunate, but true."

Ballet shoes indeed. A change of
clothes would be more useful.

Or a feeding bottle.

"To the little Fossils"?

"Turquoise for Pauline,
pearls for Petrova...

coral for Posy."

Make the most of it.

It's the last we'll hear of
him for quite some time.

I bet Gum had a car.

Only a man with a car would have
bought a house at the far end...

of the longest road in London.

Garnie says he used to
come and go in taxis.

I wish we could.

I'd be happy if they
let us get the bus.

The Professor may have had
his faults, Petrova...

might I remind you he
had but a single leg?

You 3 have got a full pair each...

so you can save the penny
and walk, and be thankful.

The Rockefeller family we are not.

At least you get to go to school.

I still have to do
lessons with Garnie...

and take an extra walk
at lunchtime every day.

If I have to look
at the dolls houses

in the museum one more time...

- I shall be sick.
- That's enough, Miss Madam.

All over my outdoor shoes. Then I
shan't be able to go anywhere.

We've had more fuss from Miss
Posy about her education.

Cromwell House is out of
the question, isn't it?

It's not just that I can't
send Posy to Cromwell House.

I'm having to take
the other two away.

I'll have to give notice to
Clara. There's no money left.

Nothing in the bank at all.

- I'm so sorry.
- Why are you apologising?

- It's not news.
- Isn't it?

You've been looking through
Situations Vacant in the papers.

I didn't think you'd notice.

I brought you up. I
notice everything.

The trouble is, Nana...

unless somebody advertises for a
palaeontologist's assistant...

I'm not qualified for anything.

There's a way round everything,
if you stop and think.

- I've finished my fractions.
- Already?

They were the hardest in the book.

She'll have to sit there
quietly with her magazine.

You can't be setting
any more sums.

You've got to go to Selfridge's
and get those eiderdowns.

Petrova, darling, would you
go? You're only reading.

- Good afternoon.
- I like your car.

How are you finding
the acceleration?

Terrific. Nought to 40
in about 3 minutes.

- Is your mother at home?
- We haven't got a mother.

It's all right, you don't
have to say you're sorry.

How do you do? I've just
come about the room.

Do come in.

Forgive me, I was trying
to clean a fireplace.

I don't know how long I'd stay.

I've only just got back
from Kuala Lumpur.

Well, there's no
minimum agreement.

This is nice.

I could put photographs on here.

Good afternoon.

Have you come about the rooms?

With particular regard to shelves.

And smoking.

I'm Dr Smith. This is Dr Jakes.

Do come in.

Rather smart.

Just as I expected.

Come in.

Nana said you might need this.

Oh, how kind.

Thank you, my dear.

We've both had lengthy
careers in academia.

It adds up to quite
a lot of books.

Most of them hers.

I specialise in Shakespeare.
Dr Smith is a mathematician.

Where do you go to school, child?

We don't. Garnie, our guardian,
teaches us from home.

Good God. That must be dull.

Although it is quite an adventure,
having relatives by accident.

And such a unique name.

Fossil? I suppose it is.

I always found Smith such
a beast of a moniker.

Try doing anything
remarkable with that.

And heredity is
such a burden. If I

made the name Jakes worthwhile...

people would think it was
because of my grandfather.

Who knows what you
three might achieve.

You ought to try and do
something for your country.

"Fossil" would look splendid
in the History books.

What do you think she
meant by "History books"?

I'm not sure.

I suppose they meant giving some
sort of service to our country.

We ought to make a vow.

- A vow?
- To our country?

A promise. To
ourselves. Like this.

Put your hands on mine.

We three Fossils vow...

to put out name in
the History books.

Because it is uniquely
ours and ours alone.

And no one can say it's
because of our grandfathers.

We vow.

We vow.

We vow.

- Posy.
- Ow.

Why do you do that?

What's that?

I shall be out every
day from 8 till 19:30.

I bathe 3 times a week and
I never eat breakfast.

Sprung floor. Was this a ballroom?

Not while I've been living here.

Do you like to dance too, dear?


Come along. The more the merrier.


Come here, little one.
It's gonna be fun.

Well, Miss Brown, I will take
this room on one condition.

Oh, please, just
let them audition.

I've been on the
staff for years and

I cannot recommend
the place enough.

But I can't afford
the fees, Miss Dane.

Madame Fidolia is a
refugee from Russia.

The Revolution did for her. She'd
been such a favourite of the Czar.

She has a history of taking on
girls from impoverished homes.

She trains them for nothing...

then takes 10% of their
earnings when they work.

They'd be sent out to work?

As soon as they're old
enough to have a licence.

But I don't want the
children going on the stage.

And I'm quite sure that
Nana doesn't either.

Whilst I don't care for Miss Dane
casting aspersions on this home...

you might say that Posy is
bound to dance anyway...

given that she came with her
own little ballet slippers.

Pauline does nothing but look
in mirrors and recite...

and as for Petrova, all she thinks

about is aeroplanes
and engine parts.

I've been trying
to turn her into a

lady for 10 years and got nowhere.

- So if this Madame Folderol...
- Fidolia.

Proves willing to try...

I would let her.

Miss Brown. We request
a consultation.


The fact of the matter is, my
dear, we very much doubt...

whether you are qualified
to teach those children.

But I'm very well grounded
in Natural Science.

And I've got my
School Certificate.

I did consider the school at
the top of the road, but...

You can't send them
there. They'll get lice.

- My opinion entirely.
- And frightful accents.

Which wouldn't help their
chances in the theatre at all.

My dear, life can be a
surprising affair...

as Dr Smith and I found out.

We both felt that
we should retire...

but find we are unsuited
to a life of idleness.

And more to the point,
we miss our teaching.

We should very much like
to coach the girls.

All-round education, specialising
in Mathematics and Literature.

They will be prepared
to take their

school certificate
and matriculation.

No charge, hours to suit.

What do you think?

I don't know what to think.

Do you want your charges educated?

And do you want them
trained to earn a living?

I want both.

The world isn't kind to girls
who can't support themselves.


Come on.

Bear legs in the street.

- Do they look smart, Nana?
- No, but they look neat.

Petrova, will you at
least try and smile?

I swear the face on that
child could stop a clock.

There it is.

Should we knock, do you suppose?


So rude.

The Fossil sisters?

- How do you do? I'm Pauline.
- No.

All my pupils, morning or
night, before or after class...

whenever we meet,
they say "Madame"...

and curtsy.



Which is Petrova?

- Me.
- You are Russian?


You speak Russian?

But you feel Russian?

Actually she's always said she
couldn't feel more British.

You are the first compatriot
of mine to come to my academy.

I will make wonderful
artiste of you.

You must be Posy.


5, 6, 7, 8.

And smile. Smile.

You don't see Shirley
Temple with a gloomy face.

- Moment.
- Madame.

To centre, if you please.

I think polka, Mrs Davies.

Stockinette vests, buff, two each.

Royal blue cotton
rompers, two each...

white tarlatan ballet
dresses, two each...

white knickers, all
frills, two each.

Two black sateen elocution
overalls per child.

How are we going to
make it all by Monday?

I don't care if we
have to sew all night.

This is the biggest chance
these girls have ever had.

We go up there and
dance every year.

There's no point making me
into a wonderful artiste.

I already know what I
really want to be.

Racing driver?

I want to fly planes
like Amy Johnson.

A very laudable ambition.

It's not because she's fashionable
and in all the magazines.

It's not even because I
love engines. It 's...

the idea that there
are roads in the sky.

Ways around the world that
no one has discovered.

Roads in the sky?

Until I can do that, I'd
like to work with cars.

That's good.

Because I've just bought a garage.

A garage?

It's going to be tough going
for the first few months...

and I'll need some help
from time to time.

All right.

When you said you were
going to make a drink...

I thought you meant
a cup of cocoa.

Oh, be a sport.

Look, I've even got a jar
of maraschino cherries.

I absolutely promise
not to get you tight.

This is the way they used
to mix them at the Ritz...

when I was in Miss
Rosebud's Bouncing Babes.

You drank cocktails when
you were a Bouncing Babe?

Oh, I was practically 19.

Miss Rosebud had to
bind my bosoms flat.

Otherwise they bounced rather
more than was approved of.

The girls will be
happy, won't they?

Oh, my darling. You
don't even need to ask.

Hurry up, Pauline.

Need a hand?

You are kind. But
they won't take long.

You know, when I was at school...

shoe-cleaning was a punishment.

The matron would say:

"Clean them till they
shine like mirrors.

It'll give you time to
reflect on your misdeeds."

There was a fire in that room,
and I always quite enjoyed it.

Well, Mr Simpson, you
are a gentleman.

Leave that to me. Got a bit
of a knack with tap shoes.

I'll let... I'll let
you get on then.

Thank you.

I sometimes think heaven sent
those lodgers to this house.

Not a moment too
soon, if you ask me.

We need to get that wiring mended.

And you're looking very thin.

I've always been thin.

And you're going grey.

I am not.

I've just got the odd silver hair.

I'm starting to rehearse
my audition in a week.

What is a audition, anyway?

It's what you have
to show managers.

It means "my audition", but...

over the years it's run
into one, out of habit.

Typical Academy.

Always got to be a special
word for everything.

Anyone who goes up for any
audition, anywhere...

has to sing, dance and recite.

It doesn't matter which school you

train at, it's what
you have to do.

I'm dreading my next birthday.

I'll have to get a licence,
and tap-dance on a stage.

I don't want to tap-dance either.

But I think I'd like to act.

How long will it
be till these fit?

Other hole in my
elocution drawers.

It's massive.

Right, today's French
acting class is cancelled.

Anyone involved in the Choral
Speaking Championships...

please go and wait in Studio One.

Posy Fossil, Madame
would like a word.

Winifred Bagnall and Pauline
Fossil, stay here and speak to me.

You'd better not be in bother.


- haven't you got anywhere to go?
- No. Not now.

Well, dear, wait outside while
I have a word with these two.

Yes, Miss Jay.

There's an audition tomorrow
at the Prince's Theatre.

You are both to be there,
punctually, at noon.


I want you to style
your hair like this.

Is it for Alice in Wonderland?

Girls going for Alice
always wear a ribbon.

I wish it wasn't the
Prince's though.

It's such a mean management.

One ought to get six, but
it's more likely four.

They might squeeze five.

Five what? Shillings?

Pounds. Per week.

Don't you need any money at home?

You will attend no further classes
with your sisters and Miss Dane.

You will no longer
study tap-dancing,

no longer study
character dancing...

you will no longer study singing,
musical comedy, or mime.

In future, you will receive

instruction only in
classical ballet.

And all that instruction
will come from me.

You are the first child in the
history of the Academy...

to come entirely under
my personal supervision.

You have the potential...

to be a truly remarkable dancer.

- As remarkable as you?
- Oh, my child.

Much, much more
remarkable than me.

But Sylvia, she
needs an attractive

frock with a full flared skirt...

in order to show her
dancing to advantage.

Can't she just wear
a practise dress?

Or go in her jersey and skirt?

Darling, are you mad? She has to
look quite perfectly turned out...

otherwise she simply
will not stand a chance.

Pauline, performance
comes from within.

When I watch you reciting Puck, I

don't see Pauline
Fossil, schoolgirl.

I see a queer, mercurial
woodland creature.

- In a jersey and skirt.
- Eirene, that is unhelpful.

I still don't see what's
wrong with cotton.

They're from the
summer before last.

She's outgrown them all.

- Round the bust.
- Shut up, Posy.

Be quiet, Posy. And less of
the bust chat, thank you.

I'll be quiet. But not until I've

said that I think
it's very unfair...

that in the middle of all this
fuss about Pauline's frock...

and Pauline's audition...

not one person's
said they're pleased

about Madame's plans for me.

Posy, that's absolutely...

Bit of a flap on?

It's a flap about money.

And Garnie says we shouldn't
discuss that sort of thing.

Easily done...

when there's plenty about.

Have you ever been poor?

Dreadfully poor.

Have you ever been in a pawn shop?

More than once, by the
time I was your age.

There's one just off
the Earl's Court Road.

Nana says people
borrow money there,

in exchange for items of value.

She said it's a facility
for the desperate.

Are you desperate?

Are things really so bad?

And we do have items of value.

What I propose is this.

I will personally
advance you the sum

of four pounds and
ten shillings...

in exchange for custody
of the necklaces.

And Garnie will not be
told of this arrangement.

And if she asks any questions, I
shall say I've had a windfall.

Pauline will then use the
advance to purchase...

an appropriate audition frock...

and will then buy the necklaces
back in small instalments...

always provided she gets the part.

No matter how long the process

takes, no interest
will be charged.

You can't escape

It's in your memory

By morning

Night and noon

She will leave you And then

Come back again

A pretty girl Is just
like a pretty tune

She is very good.

She's the best all round student
the Academy's ever had.

I've a hole underneath the
right arm of my frock.

I had to change my position
for the attitude at the end.

Little fair girl in
black, what's your name?

Pauline Fossil.

Come down to centre stage.

Would you like to sing first,
or would you like to recite?

I'll recite.

Puck, "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

"I am that merry
wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon and
make him smile.

When I a fat and bead-fed
horse beguiles...

neighing in likeness
of a filly foal.

Sometimes lurk I in
a gossip's bowl...

in very likeness
of a roasted crab.

And when she drinks,
against her lips I bob...

and on her wither'd
dewlap pours the ale."

Will all playing cards, Dormice
and dancing Frog Footmen...

make your way directly
to the stage.

Any Mock Turtles, wait in
the wings till called.

Well done. Well done. Both of you.


Pauline is to play Alice.

And Winifred will be
engaged as understudy.

When I finished my
dance, people clapped.

Nobody clapped her.
There was just silence.

Dance is important, but Pauline
looks right for Alice.

She looks right for
everything. She always will.

Pretty face...

blonde hair...

It's got nothing whatsoever to do
with talent and it's so unfair.

Winifred. Winifred.

I will not take housekeeping
money from you, Pauline.

What would the authorities
think of me? Making a...

Thank you.

Making a profit from an orphan.

Besides, the law states that
a working child must save.

Only one third of her earnings.

One third of four pounds is
26 shillings and 8 pence.

Even after 8 shillings has
gone to the Academy...

that would leave 2
pounds 5 shillings

and 4 pence for the house.

There's no need to blind
me with accountancy.

Garnie, we know we're poor.

I don't know how they found out.

Listening at doors, I don't doubt.

Naughty, sneaky habit. I'm
assuming this is Mr Simpson's.

And if you excuse me saying...

I think you ought to take
what Pauline's offered.

I wanted Pauline to
save for the future.

All kinds of things might
happen in the future.

The Professor might come
back, in the future.

Your health might come back
on its own in the future.

You inherited that chest from your
father. Look what happened to him.

She'll accept 30 shillings a week.

And off upstairs,
the lot of you...

or you'll be feeling the
back of my hairbrush.


what matters most is the
life the girls have now.

And it wouldn't amount to much
if it didn't have you in it.

Now there's money coming in, there
are things that you can see to.

You can go and see a
specialist, for a start.



Do you think I can do it?

Do what?

Play Alice.

Winifred was better than
me in the audition.

And it's a massive part.

You can't lose your
nerve. We need the money.


You're nothing but a
pack of playing cards.



I'll see you back at home.

- You're wearing the necklaces.
- Mr Simpson brought them down.

He didn't want Garnie
to be suspicious.

Well done. Very good.

- What did you really think?
- Amazing.

- Marvellous.
- Did you see us in the crowd?

Get that on your way out,
would you, Winifred?

I'll see to it. Button
up that gabardine.

I see Pauline left her
wrap in the wings again.

Could you remind her to wear it
over her costume at all times...

unless she's actually
on the stage?

Most certainly. She
knows the rules.

Miss Brown?

She's worn out with
all the excitement.

Should we let her sleep?

Well done.

I'm not a complete novice.

What happened to
your wife and child?

There was a...

a typhoid epidemic.

I'm so sorry. I
didn't mean to pry.

I sometimes feel that I'd
like to talk about it.

Then I find it's
better if I don't.

- Goodnight.
- Goodnight.

They've announced a month
of extra matinees.

And next week Princess
Elizabeth and

Princess Margaret Rose are coming.

And will they be calling for tea
in your dressing room afterwards?

I hope not. I'm always
so tired after shows.

Posy, would you run downstairs
and fetch my handkerchief?

No, I will not.

Is something the matter
with your arms and legs?

No. I just need to
save my strength.

It's going to be a
bit difficult when

we're all working,
isn't it, Petrova?


All of us giving out
orders at once.

I think you're both
absolutely vile.

Door slamming. That's a new one.

Wretched bills.

Harley Street, please.


Jolly well done. Bravo.

Three curtain calls again.

Compliments of Mr
French, but would

Miss Fossil go back for her wrap?

You will keep leaving
it in the wings.

Let Winifred get it.

It's the least she
can do sitting in

my dressing room
night after night.

If everybody had their
rights, young lady...

it would be you
sitting in Winifred's

dressing room night after night.

How can you even say that?

What is this appalling commotion?

As you know, sir, Pauline left
her wrap in the wings again.

I have reprimanded her, but
she will not fetch it.

Oh, fetch it yourselves
if you want it fetched.

- Pauline.
- That is enough.

Rules are not made for
little girls to break.

What's your name
again? Winifred...

Winifred Bagnall, sir.

I'm Pauline's understudy.

Yes. Well, I think it's high time
your positions were reversed.

From tomorrow, Winifred will
play the part of Alice.

Pauline, will you please
tell me what's happened?

Why don't you just mind
your own business?

Garnie's been to see a specialist.

He asked to see her again. I
found a letter all about it.

I know we shouldn't snoop, but
they never tells us anything.

It said she's got...

inflammation of the
lungs, that she

should move to a milder climate.

But you're working
now, and the extra

matinees are just about to start.

We could send her to Bournemouth,
or Brighton, for a bit.


I was so selfish. All I could
think about was proving myself...

making everybody see
that I was talented.

But you are talented.

I have to be.

You have to be, Posy has to be.

Posy is.

Don't you ever worry that all the
three of us has is each other...

and what we are, what we can do?

Our talents?


Don't you think it's true?

I daren't think it's true.

"Epaulement", child. When the
right leg is extended behind...

the left shoulder must move back.

1, 2, 3, 4. Pas-de-bourré.



- Petrova.
- Coming.

We three Fossils vow to put our
name in the History books.

Because it is uniquely
ours and ours alone.

And no one can say it's
because of our grandfathers.

We also vow to earn some
money to help Garnie...

and support ourselves
until Gum comes home.



Amen? We aren't in church.

We do the vow every birthday
and every Christmas...

and we've never said Amen, ever.

I haven't had any
work since Alice.

We need help, and I don't
care where it comes from.

- Well, it looks like Amen then.
- Amen.

Yes, amen.

Come on.

And you lost.

Well done.

Get yourself back there, and
don't get any broken teeth.

I was cricket captain, but
my sport was lacrosse.

Come on. Give us another shot.

Oh, she'll be thrilled.

But you've already given
her a sovereign...

and I could have
made a cake myself.

You do more than enough already.

How old would he be now? Your son?

Getting on for...


Come on, birthday girl.


Sylvia. Thank the
Lord I found you.

There's an audition. "Midsummer
Night's Dream", West End...

directed by, sir Donald Houghton.

They want to see
Pauline and Petrova

tomorrow morning at ten o'clock.

- Shakespeare?
- Oh, dear.

Petrova and the iambic
pentameter are not soul mates.

It's no good.

It doesn't fit you either. You've
gone the same way as your sister.

Round the you-know-what.

That's enough from you.
Your turn will come.

We need a new dress each.

It will look good if we're
dressed the same...

and Nana can make them both.

Out of what, may I
ask? Scotch mist?

There's no money, Pauline.

How much does a piece
of material cost?

More than we've got,
that's how much.

- Then we just can't go.
- We have to go.

We have to get these jobs.

I suppose there's always
my birthday sovereign.

We needn't have bothered.
I look awful anyway.

It's only a stye.

When we take the patch off,
the borax will have worked.

There won't even be a
suggestion of a swelling.

Little dark girl with the red eye.

What's your name?

Petrova Fossil.

What part have you
come to try for?


Come down to the front
of the stage, please.

Whenever you're ready.

Do you want me to sing or recite?

There's no need to sing.

This isn't a musical.

"Henry IV", Act III,
Scene 2, The Boy.

Isn't that prose?


Very well. Go on.

"As young as I am..."

"As young as I am...

I have observed these
three swashers.

I am but boy to them all three..."

Thank you. That's enough.


Please, you must let her finish.

I said "That's enough"
because I'd heard enough.

She has got the part.

She has a decent accent, and we
must cast these parts today.


there are no other
candidates for Mustard-seed.

Yes, sir. Pauline?

Mr French?

- I take it she's your sister?
- Yes.

Well, we won't bother hearing
you. You can both go.

You're hired.

Run along and fetch your coats
before I change my mind.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

We got them. We got them.

Am I too late?

We'd been in Eastbourne,
to father's sanatorium.

I didn't get the
message till today.

I was being seen for Mustard-seed.

They cast me.

They thought nobody
else was coming.

You could try for the ballet
of the fairies, after lunch.

I wouldn't get into a ballet of

goblins looking the
way I do today.

And my dress has gone
underneath the other arm.

You can borrow my frock.
Or Pauline's. Can't she?

The trouble with
you is that you're

a martyr to your conscience.

And the trouble with you is
that you haven't got one.

Look, this is Winifred in
the ballet of the fairies.

"I'm the best all-round student
this Academy has ever had.

Even though I've got a
frankly enormous bottom...

and I'm going to spend most
of Act II behind a tree."

Posy Fossil, you are
a heartless monster.

You noticed.

I brought you up. I
notice everything.

Right. We'll start with Cue
19a, which is Oberon's line...

"I am invisible and I will
overhear their conference..."



Do you still hate the
idea of working?

Well, I always wanted to fly.

And I will purge thy
mortal grossness so...

that thou shalt like
an airy spirit go.

Peaseblossom, Cobweb,
Moth and Mustard-seed.


And I.

And I.

And I.

Give me the line again?

And I.


And I?

Oh, please. Am I
asking for the moon?

All I want you to give me are two

sharp, clearly
differentiated notes.

As soon as you would
care to do so.

And I.

This is not the
moment to be funny.

I'm afraid I have no further
time to waste on you.

If your work does not improve...

I shall take the part away.


Whatever's happened?

I'm going to get the sack.

I'll practise with you.
The doctors will help.

- I'll still get the sack.
- Darling...

there is nothing in this world
worth getting so upset about.

Yes, there is. You're ill. You
need a rest and a holiday and...

You need a rest and
a holiday and you

can't have one if I get the sack.

I don't know where on Earth
you got such a silly idea.

I can assure you there is nothing

whatever the matter
with my health.

Do you hear me? I'm not
having you upset like this.

I'm going to, sir Donald and
giving in your notice.

- No.
- Don't.

I just feel so stupid
when I'm on the stage.

What do you mean, you feel stupid?

I mean I feel like myself.

We have to help her.

So now I actually have to be
in character all the time.

Meals and lessons...

and everything.

There's a hole in the exhaust.

The wardrobe mistress will
kill me if I get oil on this.

- Has it helped though?
- Well...

I don't feel human any more.

I don't know how you stand it.

I stand it because
we're saving up.

Garnie isn't well.

She's got trouble with her lungs.

Pauline and I want her
to have a holiday.

She likes hotels with
tea and orchestras...

but we'll doubtless have to
settle for two weeks in a tent.

You're a very generous
girl, Petrova.

Mustard-seed. You're supposed
to call me Mustard-seed.

So when do you open, Mustard-seed?

Tuesday. Still...

at least it'll be
over by Christmas.

Thank God that's over.

Sir Donald's doing
"Richard Ill" next.

He hasn't cast the
Princess In The Tower yet.

Do you think I should write to
him, and ask him to audition us?

Don't even think of
doing that to me.

I wouldn't be doing
anything to you.

We'd both be doing
something for poor Garnie.

This is nothing to do with Garnie.

We've got enough
money for a holiday.

It's all about you.
You and your acting.

Do you think you're the only one
that knows their heart's desire?

You're going to have to
forget your heart's desire.

There aren't any
14-year-old aviators.

Pauline, you can make me sing
and you can make me dance.

You can shove me out
onto the stage...

and not care that I'm useless
and I'm hating it inside.

I put up with it because we
have to earn our living.

But if you keep pushing
me, then I will break.

Theo? Is everything all right?

Just a minute.

Nana can smell something strange.

Must be my new perfume. Coty
Chypre. Isn't it divine?

No, it's another stench entirely.

Something more like
a scorching dog.

Oh, I'm sorry.

It's me.

I've been giving myself
a permanent wave.

Nana, fetch soft soap.

And the brandy from
the medicine chest.

It's stopped breaking off now.

It's just a bit short.

Oh, Lord.

Serves me right for trying
to turn the clock back.

Why do you want to
turn the clock back?

I'd got to the point where chaps
had just stopped looking.

You know what it's like.

One enters a room and makes no
more impression than a draught.

I suppose so.

It was so different
when I was young.

I mean, there weren't many men,
because of the beastly war.

Some of them actually
had bits missing...

and those that were intact
were often rather mad.

But they would wait for one
at the Stage Door or...

ask one out for drinks.

Then when one appeared
there would be

such a lightening
of their faces...

as though they'd felt this
surge of possibility.

And I used to feel it, too.

Don't you any more?

I'd had to start
telling myself there

was no shame in being an old maid.

Well, anyway...

the other day I had the first
tiny flicker of hope in an age...

and next thing I knew, I
was in the chemist 's...

with my hand round a bottle
of Empress Waving Compound.

- Where did it come from?
- It's imported from New York.

No, I meant the hope.

It's a chap.

I've known him for ages.

He's awfully quiet, but he has
the most speaking eyes and...

he looked at me and
I got the sense

he was going to ask me something.

Good luck.

Record-breaking aviator
Amy Johnson...

finally touched ground on
British soil this week...

after her triumphant flight from
Cape Town, in South Africa.

Though clouds and wind added to
the dangers of the journey...

Amy has proved once again that by
sheer skill and determination...

there's no difficulty
that can't be overcome.


what do you think of Theo?

- Theo Dane?
- Yes.

Would you say she was a nice
sort of person? Is she kind?

Well, she wears a lot of perfume.

Coty Chypre, it rubs
off on everything.

I could probably bear that.

Well, goodbye, Amy, and
very best of luck.

Thanks so much. I can
surely hope I shall do.

Come on. You're being
slow. Come on.

Oh, no.

What are you doing?

We're going to tie Posy
to a tree and scalp her.


I parked in the lane.

I'm awfully sorry to surprise you,
but there's news from London.

It's all right. It's good news.

Help me.

I can't believe I'm going
for a screen test.

I don't know anything
about Charles

the Second's sister Henrietta.

I don't even know
what she looks like.

Well, let's just hope she
had a pimple on her nosy.


Take the dishes down to the
tap and get them swilled.

- I guess I dry.
- You always dry. That's easy.

- May I smoke?
- Of course.

Mr Simpson, would you mind
awfully if I had one?

I'm sorry. I didn't
know you indulged.

I don't.

At least, I never have before.

I suppose, with the
girls and everything...

I don't really get to go
to places where I would.

Thank you.

Nana did wonder if I ought
to have the odd one.

She thinks it helps to
break up chest congestion.

But honestly. The
thought of sitting

alone in the kitchen,
in the dark...

dragging away on
my solitary fag...

It made such a tragic picture
I simply couldn't bear to.

Oh, Lord, I do feel a fool.

Quick, take it away before
the girls get back.

What time do we need
to leave tomorrow?

Nine should do it. We'll
be at Shepperton by noon.

We could perhaps have
tea out afterwards...

on the way back to London.

I'm afraid I must be home by four.

I have an appointment...

with Theo.

We can't let you be late.

Pauline Fossil, Screen
Test. Mr Sholsky.

So, Pauline Fossil.
How old are you?

I'm nearly 16.

And you want to be in movies?

I don't know... I don't
know much about them.

But you want to be an actress?

No. I need to be an actress.

Hold it.

Theo just asked for tea in her
room. For her and Mr Simpson.

Just leave it outside.

There you are...

Earl's Court 428?

That's simply wonderful.

Oh, I'm sorry. I said
that's wonderful news.

Come on, Pauline, to your marks.

Okay, people, we are going again.

Clear the set, please.
Clear the set.


Scene 84. Take 1.


Write to me, while I am gone.

- I will try.
- Not "I will try".

- But "I will".
- I will.

- Cut.
- Cut.

You will what, Pauline?

Bake him a cake?
Knit him a sweater?

Look, your brother here is asking
for an emotional lifeline, okay?

That's great. Fantastic, Leo.

- Can we take it again?
- Scene 84. Take 2.

Not "I will try". But "I will".

- I will.
- Cut.

Take 3.

- I will.
- Cut.

Can we talk? Excuse me.

You've got 10 days on this
picture. This is our 7th.

And you've yet to show me
that you're not made of wood.

We do too many takes,
I can't concentrate.

I can build myself up to it in the
theatre. I can be a character.

Honey, honey, this is
motion pictures now, okay?

Look, you've got everything
to learn, and that's fine...

but you've got to give
me something real.

What's real to you, Pauline? What
matters most to you in the world?


If that is a truthful answer,
there's no hope for you.

Scene 84. Take 4.


Write to me while I am gone.

I will try.

Not "I will try". But "I will".

I will.

And cut. Print.

- Fantastic. You did it.
- I just thought about my sisters.

How awful it must be to
live your life alone.

That was wonderful.

Okay, let's move on.

Coty Chypre?

Come on.

Have you never wanted anything?


when the war broke out, I thought
I'd like to drive an ambulance.

But of course, I didn't do
anything about it. I had you.

Madame, please may I change my
shoes before we start my accendo?

These were my mother's.
They fit me now.

Small bones...

high arches.

- Like you.
- She was just like me.

She loved ballet
more than anything.

I know that because it
was the thing she chose.

1, 2, 3, 4...

5, 6, 7, and second.

1, 2, 3...

Energy, Petrova, energy. Bored
dancers are boring. Arabesque.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...

Number 3 for you, Pauline.
You're in with Dandini.

Can't I share with Petrova?

She's on the fourth floor with the
others in the chorus. Off you pop.

- Hello, Petrova.
- Hello, Winifred.

Soon a gown of shimmering tulle

And cape of silk we will unspool.

Hollywood never called
for Pauline, then.

The film isn't out yet, Winifred.

A pumpkin coach we will create

Has Hollywood called for you?

It's not all gloom.

I've got an audition for the
Ovaltines. On the radio.

But first, to show what
magic means I call upon

The jumping beans.

"A King in Exile", world premiere.

Cue for gigantic
panic over frocks.

- What do you think of that?
- Beautiful.

What can you see Pauline in, John?

That shiny stuff that
rustles? Taffeta?

- I'm too old for a party dress.
- I see her in powder blue velvet.

With a lace bolero.

Lace bolero? She'll
catch her death.


I'll get my rifle and
shoot you a mink.

I shall be needing a
new dress very soon.

What for?

The Marmaro ballet's
coming to London

for the first time
ever from Prague.

And Madame Fidolia is
taking me to see them.

You don't need something
new for that.

She's booked us a box, and
a smoked salmon supper.

Would you excuse me?

I couldn't sleep.

I thought it would be a nice
surprise in the morning.

We've had such lovely
Christmases in this house.

It was even Christmas
when you came to us.

I think about it
every time it snows.

Why can't you sleep?

Is it your cough?

Not really.

Can you keep a secret?

I wanted to get you
all together...

but I'll tear open if
I don't tell someone.

We can't afford to
live here any more.


what about Pauline's
wages from the film...

and the money we're
getting for "Cinderella"?

This house eats money.

Even with the borders?


And so...

- I'm selling it.
- No.

We'll soon be living in
a nice flat, with Nana.

There'll be no need for Clara
and the boarders will disperse.

You can't do that. You can't.

- The house belongs to Gum.
- He's been gone for 12 years.

I spoke to the solicitors...

and they've declared him dead.

Remember, Posy. When
Valentin Manoff

got his dancers out of Russia...

he rescued not just a company...

but a system of
training 2OO years-old.

I have brought you here to show
you what you might achieve.

If you are strong enough. If you
have the courage and the will.

Stand still.

Oh, darling.

You look... grown up.

That's the first and last time
I copy anything from Vogue.

No one made you do it.


Why don't you make me go
in a jersey and skirt?

I feel a complete fraud, Petrova.

I'm terrible in that film.

Tomorrow night my face is going
to be blown up as big as a house.

Everyone's going to find me out.

I will dance like that, Madame.

I don't care how long
the training takes.



Help. Someone help.

Posy? Posy, is that you?

What happened?

- Madame's had a stroke.
- A stroke?

They took her to the hospital.
She can't move her arm or leg.

- Oh, no. Poor Madame...
- Poor lady.

I'm not crying about Madame.
I'm crying about me.

My training can't
be broken off now.

You are a selfish and
cold-hearted little madam.

We did not bring you up to
conduct yourself like this.

Nana is right. Your
behaviour is disgraceful.

She's ambitious, that's all.

Once upon a time I thought
ambition was a good thing.

I thought it would help you
to apply yourselves...

and help you make the most
of your small chances.

But if it kills off everything
that's nice in you...

then I'm not going to have
ambition in this house.

Meaning what?

Meaning that I will
no longer sanction

any of you working on the stage.

You can't do that.

Yes, I can. I am
your legal guardian.

We will never be rich.

But now the house
is sold, there's no

more need for you
to work or train.

You can't stop me. You can't
stop me from doing anything.

We can stop you from going
to Pauline's premiere.

You can stay at home
tonight. Alone.

Good luck.

Your name is really
small, Pauline.

Almost as small as the author's.

Maybe no one will
realise you're in it.

You were fantastic.

Let's get you through the back.

- Come on, Pauline.
- I wish I was you.

She was good, Nana.
She was wonderful.

- Is she with you?
- Who?

Miss Posy. I went to check on
her and... she's not there.

Little maniac...

It's the thought of
her alone out there.

How cold she must be.

How afraid.

Posy's not afraid of anything.
That's what frightens me.

- Miss Brown?
- No. This is Miss Brown.

Good morning. David Montague.

I'm the London representative
of United Artists Studios.

So, you don't speak Russian.

I dance Russian.

And who did you learn that from?

Mikhail Fokine?

- Agripinna Vaganova?
- No. Evgenia Fidolia.

- I see.
- Do you?

You won't see anything at all
until you've watched me dance.

No sign of her?

I've been offered a
contract by United Artists.

In Hollywood?

You ought to be smiling.

I'd have to go for 5 years.

That's 5 years without theatre...

not learning all the
things I wanted to know.

- Hello?
- Posy.

- Where have you been?
- With Valentin Manoff.

He's offered to train me
at his ballet school.


I made him watch me dance,
and then he said...

"Come to my academy in Prague. I
shall make you into a ballerina."

I said my guardian would make the

arrangements and
came straight home.

You can't go to Czechoslovakia,
Posy. There's no money.

My mother gave me away
because there was no money.

At least your parents
drowned and had

the kindness to put
you on a lifebelt.

I didn't get a lifebelt.
Only a pair of ballet shoes.

Garnie, is Mr Montague
still upstairs?

He's packing up his bag. I
said you needed time to think.

I don't. Not any more.

I'll sign.

Sign what?

Something that means you
can study with Manoff.

Garnie can go to
California where the

climate's mild, get
her health back.


I can't live in
Hollywood on my own.

And Nana must go to
Prague with Posy.

Otherwise, she's going to
get completely out of hand.

Where will I go?

Excuse me.

Who sold my house?

Are you Gum?

Of course I'm bloody Gum.
Who else would I be?

What I want to know is this:

Who are these women?

- Pauline.
- Petrova.


I brought entrancements
home. I brought babies.

Babies grow up, Gum.

Yes, I can see that.

So, a film star and
a ballet dancer.

That's you and your
chaperones sorted.

I never thought I'd be
going to live abroad.

Abroad will get used to it.

So that just leaves you
and me to organise.

What would you like to do?

She wants to be like Amy Johnson.

Oh, Amy Johnson. I know her.


Ran into her in
Argentina. She taught

me how to fly. Quite
good, actually.

Well, we'd better get you some
lessons, then, hadn't we?

Mixed feelings?

Not telling.



I need to ask you something.

Can I borrow your gramophone?

Theo's been giving me lessons.

I wanted to take you out...

to a hotel.

I wanted to dance with
you, to tell you things.

And I didn't know how.

I thought this...

this song...

might tell you things.

The very thought of you

And I forget to do

Those little ordinary things

That everyone ought to do

I'm living in a kind of a daydream

I'm happy as a king

And foolish though It may seem

To me that's everything

This was the first room I ever
walked into in this house.

It was full of stone feathers...

and the ghosts of things.

Not any more.


It's full of things we made.

I see your face in every flower

Your eyes in stars above

It's just the thought of you

The very thought of you

My love


Miss Brown is otherwise engaged.

I haven't come to see
Miss Brown. I've...

I've come to see you.

You don't remember me, do you?

Little Theodora, star of Miss
Rosebud's Bouncing Babes?

We used to meet at the stage
door every night, for weeks.

- During the war?
- I knew you at once...

even without your bandages.

Do you know who I
am, without mine?

We two Fossils vow, since, as
an actress and a dancer...

it is unlikely that
we will ever get

our names in the History books...

to do everything we can to get
our sister's name, Petrova...

there instead.

Because she is ours,
and ours alone.

And when she finds the
roads in the sky...

no one can ever say it 's
because of her grandfathers.

- We vow.
- We vow.

We vow.



There she is.


Do a circle, Petrova.